A zoo has appointed an unusual artist-in-residence – a 5-ton Asian elephant.
Karishma uses a tiny paintbrush clamped in its trunk to create colourful canvases paintings at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire.
One of the 14-year-old female’s artworks is currently for sale on eBay to raise money for conservation projects.
Staff at Whipsnade say that Karishma’s artwork is ‘quite amazing if a bit abstract’, and fans clearly agree as bidding has gone up to £100 on the auction site.
“Karishma really enjoys painting, and she’s very talented at it,” keeper Elizabeth Becker said.
‘It demonstrates just how skilful elephants’ trunks really are.’
Colleague Rebecca Smith said the mighty elephant had been an artist at Whipsnade since custodians gave Karishma a paintbrush and watched her ‘immediately take it’.
While staff admired Karishma’s use of ‘sweeping strokes’ as well as trademark spots and stripes, Ms Smith added: ‘Perhaps the beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.
Karishma’s calf George has not inherited her mother’s love of art, preferring to spend time playing rather than painting.